(a) Force-rank the 3 main purifications below based on how important
each is to you at this time:
#3 Thoughts (see below)
#4 Words (see below)
#9 Deeds (see below)
(b) Think: List the four or five things you need to stop or start doing
right now to further purify your self.
“Purification is an important spiritual practice. Consider the types and efficacy of purification…
___ 1) The purpose of purification (tapas, literally to ‘melt’) is to deliberately ‘refine’ one’s life—to heat it and recast it into a higher order. The goal is to evolve from a human existence into Divinity!
___ 2) The three main methods of tapas are to purify one’s actions, words, and thoughts. When you modify these three you automatically change for the better.
___ 3) Purifying Actions—includes four key practices:
(a) To venerate the gods (all facets of the One)
(b) To venerate the holy ones, who so dedicate their lives
(c) To venerate the gurus (spiritual teachers and older people who
set good examples)
(d) To venerate the sages, who have already transcended the
body mind (ego) and truly know the Atma.
___ 4) Purifying Words—which includes four key practices:
(a) Truth telling
(b) Not hurting
(c) Not flattering
(d) Devotional chanting.
___ 5) Always tell the truth, and if you cannot, then remain silent or find an obliging way to say it.
___ 6) Harsh words can be more hurtful than physical violence, and the pain lasts longer.
___ 7) Regarding flattery, even if what you say is pleasant and contains truth, promoting vanity is not spiritually helpful. The rule: speak only words that are beneficial to spiritual growth.
___ 8) Devotional chanting or reading spiritual texts aloud exercises the power of sound to aid spiritual growth.
___ 9) Purifying Thoughts—is more important than the other two. A mind full of pure thoughts is a calm and gentle mind which does not speak wayward words or do unwanted actions.
___10) The mind saturated with pure thoughts spontaneously gives rise to good words and deeds.
___11) To develop a calm mind (equanimity) allow only good thoughts and noble sentiments to arise in you.
___12) Limiting your thoughts just to noble and good sentiments seems impossible to most people, but you can indeed cleanse your mind through constant, intense, direct practice (termed abhyasa yoga in Sanskrit).
___13) There are three general approaches. Your mind-purification practices will be…
(a) …Sattvic when you relentlessly cleanse your thoughts, words,
and deeds with firm faith and no expectation of reward
(b) …Rajasic when done to gain admiration or respect (any selfish
motive to reap a return makes any spiritual practice
(c) …Tamasic when done with no understanding of the reasons for
doing them, or when the acts are harmful or include sorcery.
Copyright 2006 Jack Hawley, All Rights Reserved (Enhanced Web Version 2017)